It is what we become, how we define ourselves, by our awareness. After our hopes leave — one after the other — we panic as we near our psychological death.
Our capitalist, secularist, society leaves no room for spiritual growth, and as we progress through life and near our psychological death, having not acquired what we desired, we have no safety net to fall back on… After all, we are the centers of our own universes, so we have nobody available.
That line was from a PBS documentary on LSD research. LSD was used therapeutically to successfuly treat depression and anxiety. The LSD opened up the user mentally and allowed him or her to become aware of alternative emotions — the shift in perception was the vehicle that allowed the user to transcend the psychological barrier between hope and despair. This research was done in a highly relaxing and controlled environment, very different and far removed from the sensory overload acids tests of the hippies or CIA.